Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’

Even Sarah Palin, my fellow Idahoan (she was born there), agrees that greed caused the financial crash. That’s the crash that has visited the despair of unemployment to some 13 million Americans, evicted millions in foreclosures, and a cast a gloom over the future of young Americans now exiting universities. “I think the corruption on Wall Street. That’s to blame. And that violation of the public trust. And that contract that should be inherent in corporations who are spending, investing other people’s money, the abuse of that is what has got to stop.”

Public Citizen hereby presents some startling figures on the object of that greed: “Hourly Rates: A Modest Essay about Extraordinary Paychecks.

For example, every fourteen minutes in 2009, hedge fund manager David Tepper made President Obama’s annual salary.  No matter how well compensated our Hollywood and sports stars are, the real money comes from the business of money. The AFL-CIO’s PayWatch noted that recently major bankers, apparently embarrassed by their dependence on record taxpayer subsidies, have tightened their belts. Thomas Montag, president of global banking at Bank of America, received only $29 million, or $14,500 an hour.  But the hedge funds have demonstrated no such restraint. The magazine Institutional Investor declared David Tepper the best paid hedge fund manager in 2009 at $4 billion. To put this in perspective, that is $2 million an hour. That is one million dollars every half hour. A Pittsburgh native, he donated $55 million to Carnegie Mellon University, which gratefully changed the name of a graduate program to the David Tepper School of Business. That was half a week’s paycheck.

None have pinned the crash on David Tepper. But the lure of such large paychecks led many to shed prudence for pecuniary pursuits.

Today’s Flickr photo:

Flickr photo by jcolman

If you read one thing today…

As the nation’s thoughts go out to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the others who were hurt and/or killed in the tragic shooting in Tuscon, Ariz., over the weekend, we also wonder what led to someone acting out in such a way?

Was it a random act carried out by a mentally unbalanced constituent? Was it the direction the country is headed or presence of partisan politics? Or, as some have argued, was it the heated rhetoric leading up to and following the November 2010 elections?

Consider:

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Today’s Flickr photo

Flickr photo by Pranav Prakash.

If you read one thing today . . .

Wouldn’t it be great if all of these “outsiders” who campaign against “business-as-usual” would actually do things differently when they arrive as newly-minted members of Congress? Alas, the WashPo’s Dan Eggen says that the incoming freshmen are already awash in K Street cash. A preliminary tally of contributions collected since the election shows that newly elected House members have raised at least $2 million:

The aggressive fundraising efforts underscore the financial pressures facing new members of Congress even before they take their seats. The contributions also represent a symbolic challenge for the Republican class of 2010, many of whom gained office by running against the ways of official Washington and monied interests.

“The lobbyists are all saying, ‘Welcome to Washington; let me help pay off your debt,’” said Nancy Watzman, who tracks political fundraisers for the Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group. “It’s particularly interesting when so many of this year’s freshmen were running against Washington. But as soon as they get elected, they come to Washington and put out their hand.”

Overheard:

Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips says if the GOP establishment is unwilling to fully embrace the Tea Party, then the simple solution would be to take over the Republican Party. Phillips has written Sarah Palin, urging her to run for chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“We need you as Chairman of the RNC. You have shown in the past no hesitation to take on the establishment. You did it in Alaska,” Phillips writes in the letter. “If we end up with establishment control of the GOP and their support for an establishment candidate in 2012, Obama and the socialists will have won…We need someone who will put conservatives in control of the party apparatus, not RINOs.”

Today’s Flickr photo

Tubo estaciones. Flickr photo by Cristina V.

If you read one thing today . . .

Give Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) some credit: She put her money where her mouth was in not requesting any earmarks during this last Congress. The rest of her Tea Party Caucus? Not so much. Reid Wilson in the National Journal’s Hotline On Call blog says that members of the Tea Party Caucus requested more than $1 billion in earmarks during the 2010 fiscal year. Hotline’s review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste found that the “52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150.” Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) is the earmark king, having requested funding either solely or as a co-sponsor for 88 projects at a cost of $100.5 million. Rehberg’s response to the Hotline piece succeeds in completely avoiding the subject of his earmark addiction.

“It’s easy to be a member of the TEA Party Caucus because, like them, I agree that we’re Taxed Enough Already and we’ve got to balance the budget by cutting spending instead of raising taxes. Deficit spending is not new, but the unprecedented rate of spending in Congress is,” Rehberg said in a statement emailed by his office. “Montanans have tightened their belts, and it’s way past time for Congress to follow their lead. The TEA Party Caucus is about listening to concerned Americans who want to fundamentally change how Congress spends their tax dollars. On that, we’re in total agreement.”

Overheard:

Former Bush communications adviser Nicolle Wallace on why the GOP establishment won’t try and nip a Sarah Palin presidential bid at the bud.

“No one’s gonna cut her off at the legs,” Wallace claimed. “Only Sarah Palin can beat Sarah Palin, and let me tell you why no one will take her on. Her defenders and supporters, the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity — people I admire — are so powerful on the Right that nobody wants to anger any of those people, nobody wants to end up in the crosshairs, and nobody wants to look like they are unwilling to let her do her thing.”

Today’s Flickr photo

Scroll with signatures collected by the Monahan brothers who walked across the country to protest the Citizens United ruling. Flickr photo by M.V. Jantzen

If you read one thing today . . .

It’s pretty clear that Tea Party matriarch Sarah Palin  is no lover of Big Government or big bailouts. Except, she was for the bailouts before she was against them. David Corn in Mother Jones has an interesting look at the old Sarah’s defense of bailouts and the new Sarah’s displeasure.

Palin went further this summer, when she contended that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s support for the bailout was grounds for voting against her. Palin was backing Joe Miller in the GOP primary against Murkowski. In an endorsement message for Miller posted on her Facebook page in August, Palin, bashing Murkowski as a faux Republican, declared,

Alaska deserves a senator who will not talk one way in the Last Frontier and then vote the opposite way in the Beltway. It’s time for Alaskans who are concerned about endless bailouts, ever increasing debt and deficits, and the government take-over of health care (all planks Lisa Murkowski has walked) to get behind Joe Miller.

Palin added, “We know Joe won’t support more bailouts, but we know Lisa already has.”

In less than two years, Palin had gone from endorsing the bailout to using it as ammo to slam a fellow Republican who had also supported TARP.

Overheard

That nervous rattling you hear is coming from the U.S. Capitol where those up for election in 2012 who must feel like they have targets painted on their chest after watching so many incumbents and party favorites bite the dust during the midterm primaries and general election. Call it the Tea Party effect. Politico’s Manu Raju writes that several veteran Republicans and Democrats are worried. Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, who faces the prospect of running in a solid red state, is stressing her independence:

“I don’t think you have to be disloyal to President [Barack] Obama, to be independent,” said McCaskill, who is facing reelection in a state that Obama lost in 2008. “And I think that’s the message that I got to make sure that Missourians understand: that I haven’t been afraid to differ from Harry Reid; I have not been afraid to take on Nancy Pelosi; I have not been afraid to tell the president he is wrong. And that I have been the independent that I think most Missourians want.”

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